“To the Saints, faithful in Christ Jesus”
Scripture reading for September 22nd: Ephesians 1:1-23
Paul wrote a wonderful letter to the church at Ephesus that is a legacy to us today. Paul describes who we are in Christ and records some classic prayers that he as a pastor prayed for the church. This book has been an encouragement to Christians of every age and time and speaks to us today from the heart of God! It’s opening address, “To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus”, can be taken personally by those who belong to Christ! A saint is one set apart for God by faith in Jesus Christ.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy ad blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will–to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us in all wisdom and understanding.” (Ephesians 1:3-8)
As we read Paul’s opening call to these faithful saints to praise God, we are swept into consideration of what God, our Father, has done for us. The magnitude of our blessings–“every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms”–is more than we can comprehend! We note that God initiates everything that we receive. He chose us to be in Christ before the foundation of the world. (Romans 5:8) He provided His Son, Jesus Christ, for our redemption through the shedding of His blood that we might receive forgiveness of our sins and adoption as sons. God did it all with a lavish display of His love in Christ’s sacrifice and resurrection!
“And you were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.” (Ephesians 1:13) It is by faith, through believing in Christ, that we are included in the company of the saints. The Holy Spirit is a gift, marking us as His own! What a revelation of the love of God!